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Please stay home

Gov. Ralph Northam has been excessively clear in press conferences for more than two weeks now: stay at home.

The only way to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which is causing an illness called COVID-19, is to keep your physical distance from other people. The virus is quite contagious, and an infected person can spread it during its long incubation period while suffering no or only very mild symptoms. Health officials say the best advice is to act like you have the virus, and stay at home.

Northam drove the point home again on Monday when he signed an executive order that Virginians stay at home unless they are traveling to their job at an essential business, going to the grocery store or to seek medical care, or to some other essential duty. He did so after an unusually warm spring weekend that saw reports of multitudes congregated on local beaches.

Across the United States, total cases stand at more than 140,000. More than 2,400 people have died. The scourge has hit every single state as well as the District of Columbia and territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas and U.S. Virgin Islands.

In other words, the virus has spread essentially nationwide. Over the weekend, America overtook China, the virus’s place of origin, as well as Italy, which has been extremely hard hit, as the nation with the highest number of cases. Few are the nations that have yet to be spared.

We’re all in this together, so we implore every single citizen of Virginia to follow the governor’s order and stay home except for essential activities.

Remember: whether you feel ill or not, or whether you think you’re invincible to any sort of illness, you might have the virus, and you might be spreading it. Unless it’s absolutely essential that you go out, stay at home.